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Thread: PixInsight first impression

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    MarcoS's Avatar
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    Default PixInsight first impression



    Good day,
    I am doing AP about one year now, and I did trial of PixInsight just in the beginning, and discard it due to"to complicated" and most probably my knowledge of AP processing was not adequate as well then.

    Since then I have been using DSS for stacking and StarTools for processing.

    Then of lately I began to get upset with DSS' s quirks and limitation, and started looking for a staking alternative.
    PixInsight came back into view, and I was reading in this forum that it is great for staking comets, and frames in different orientation and focal length.
    And seen that this was about what I wanted to do I went head and bought a commercial licence. (thanks guys to help me spending money )

    Now then, I have the software since yesterday, and I just have tried to calibrate and stack about 100 frames of M31 taken on 3 different days and with different focal lengths 250mm and 220mm, frames with about 45° offset, and apart from the fact that to have a .fit resulting image it took a veeeeeery long time, and that PI produced about 8GIG of intermediate images the result using the "GradientMergeMosaic" function were to say the least astounding, no lines or whatever to be seen in the adjoining angled images

    I did the calibrating and aligning using the batch processing script that it actually throw an error on me, but it did produce files that I could stack.
    One thing that I am not sure is, if it did correctly apply the flats, because the resulting image has a very bright spot about his center.

    I 'm trying now to find the way to produce Master Flats darks and bias in PI but I haven't find it jet.
    I am searching the PI forum for it but no results jet. Any suggestions on how to do it are very welcome :-)

    As for now I will be using PI only for the calibrating aligning and stacking, and do the processing in StarTools That I find it is a really good program for it

    Here a print-screen of the stacked results were the central brightest part can be seen

    PI-Stacke.JPG

    Thanks for your suggestions!
    Clear Skies, Marco
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    Default Re: PixInsight first impression

    I'm a little unclear of what you're asking, and it would help to know the error that the BPP script threw at you. A helpful hint it to click "run diagnostic" at the bottom to make sure that you have all your ducks in line.

    You choose an output folder, and the master calibration frames go into a folder labelled "master" that PI creates for you. You'll find them there.

    Lastly, you've only been using PI for one day. It takes most of us weeks or months to get a working knowledge of the program. Be patient, you'll get there.
    Stuart Forman


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    Default Re: PixInsight first impression

    Hi Stuart,
    Thanks for the input! yes, by using the batch processing script PI did create a folder called Master, with masters flat bias and darks in it.
    what I was looking for was a way to do those masters without using the batch processing script...
    Clear Skies, Marco
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    Default Re: PixInsight first impression

    This is the tutorial from one of the PixInsight team on how to create master calibration frames outside of the BatchPreProcessing (BPP) script.
    PixInsight — Master Calibration Frames: Acquisition and Processing

    To be honest I've only used it once or twice, when I've created a master bias that I reuse in BPP.
    99.9% of the time I just use BPP, which will create master calibration frames for you, and use them automatically.
    If you want to use already generated masters again just load the master and select the relevant "Use master..." checkbox. I often use this, but generally taking a master generated from a previous BPP run.

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    Default Re: PixInsight first impression

    Marco,
    Here is my M31, also shot at 250mm, using my (unmodified) Canon 1100D DSLR camera (120 x 60s subs, f/5.6, ISO1600) for reference. M31 Compressed.JPG

    I used Pixinsight to process it, and I got decent results, even given my short exposure times. I think you made a great decision in purchasing PixInsight, and I just bought my commercial license three days ago, too. I was astounded that in my image, just using the camera, I am able to see some individual globular clusters within M31, even when shooting a wide field. Happy imaging, and continued clear skies!

    Sincerely,

    Eric Bowen
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    Default Re: PixInsight first impression

    Marco,
    I have never used StarTools but have been using PI for about 18 months now. The PI learning curve is steep, but the program is very powerful. Since you invested in PI it seems a shame not to use all of its potential. What I learned about PI was from various tutorials and following the examples more or less exactly. After doing this for a while I realized that I was becoming familiar enough with some of the tools to freelance with them and play around with different settings. I am by no means an expert but I feel that I am at a point where I understand many of the tools to choose them to accomplish certain things that I want to do without a tutorial. Pixinsight is complicated, but I feel the time it took to learn is worth while. Here is a photograph I prepared using PI and narrow band subs in the Ha, Oiii and Sii wavelengths. Everything from the raw images to the final image was done with Pixinsight. Hang in there, it will come.

    Orion-1960s-2.jpg
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    Default Re: PixInsight first impression

    Marco,
    Regarding your question about flats, bias and calibration frames. Here's a link to the Pixinsight website with a tutorial specifically addressing calibration frames.

    PixInsight — Master Calibration Frames: Acquisition and Processing
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    Default

    Bowens, if you click on that circle icon at the bottom of the HistogramTransformation tool a live preview window will open and you'll see how the settings in that tool will affect your image. A bunch of PI's tools have that live preview option which helps to use for learning how that tool works without needing to apply it to your image.
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    Default Re: PixInsight first impression

    Good day,
    thanks everybody for the inputs!
    The link to the master frames tutorial is much appreciated, I was looking for it in the PI forum, and could not locate it.
    It is exactly what I was looking for

    yes, I understand that the program is a "bit" complicate that is way at the moment I will concentrate on the staking & calibrating part of the program, and once that I got that bit clear I will proceed to other modules.

    At the moment I just went trough the first couple of the harrysastrosheadtutorials, but mostly I am implementing my own way of learning a new program.
    basically, I just click one after each other on all the buttons, and see what that particular button does.
    Once that I have an idee of what they generally do I start reading literature/tutorials on how to use them correctly an for what...

    It does looks anyway like a powerful software, just have to get used on its terminology.

    will update soon the progresses, and now off to work I go...
    Clear Skies, Marco
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    Default

    If you're just trying different tools, then I'll give you a short list of ones you should try.

    For noise removal- ACDNR, TGVDenoise and SCNR on the color green

    Enhancing detail- LocalHistogramEqualization, MultiscaleMedianTransformation and ATrousWaveletTransform

    The best tool is DynamicBackgroundExtraction (or AutomaticBackgroundExtraction which is the same thing except it's automatic) and it should be used after you do a DynamicCrop on the funky boarder left over from stacking. Also, I find that doing a MaskStretch is better than using the HistogramTranformation tool to delinearize your image, it helps prevent star bloat.
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